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Since Larian actually listens to fan feedback and takes it into consideration, what would you like to see changed for the two new RPGs, which are based on Divinity Original Sin's engine?

Personally, I'd wish for handcrafted and handplaced loot. If not for the entire game, at least a big amount of unique / legendary items which have fixed stats. In particular weapons need to have a set amount of damage. They can have the best effects and stats otherwise, if the damage sucks the weapon is useless.

I'd also love to see blacksmithing vastly enhanced. Schematics, different metals, gems with effects etc There is nothing better than a good crafting system, IF it has fixed schematics. Dragon Age: Inuqisition is a prime example of how it is done right. You have schematics that always yield the same weapon/armor, but can use different materials to make different armor, add unique effects and customize which additional stats the item should have by using particular materials. In DA:I there were 4 Tiers, so if you use t1 material the armor would give 100 defense, t2 110, t3 120 and t4 130. Same for auxiliary stats, t1 +0.5 strength per used material, t2 1, t3 1.5 and t4 2 etc

What's on your wish list?

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I would personally like a different, grimmer setting. Since there are at least two of them coming, I would love if one of them at least was darker, with less humor around.
I wouldn't also mind it being sci-fi, steampunk or post-apoc as well smile

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Originally Posted by Jimmious
I would personally like a different, grimmer setting. Since there are at least two of them coming, I would love if one of them at least was darker, with less humor around.
I wouldn't also mind it being sci-fi, steampunk or post-apoc as well smile

I think we have enough steampunk games already. Tho, I'd love to see a Final Fantasy 7 - world of 'steampunk', always loved the concept.
Not entirely keen on sci-fi, but it can work.

I'd really love a 'modern' setting, that hasn't been done yet. FF8 was a bit in that direction tho.

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Just getting ideas out smile
I will sound stupid possibly but I can't help but imagine how awesome a Star Wars RPG with the engine of D:OS would be. Imagine being able to play along with a friend as two new Jedis using your force in the environment... Heck it even fits with the whole telekinesis aspect. I know it's almost impossible to see that but it would be awesome imo!

Anyway the possibilities are plenty and yes an FF7 kind of setting would be really cool too smile

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A sci-fi RPG would be an interesting direction, certainly.

I typically ignore crafting systems in most games, but if Larian is going to use them, then they have to do it right and provide a semi-consistent way for people to get the ingredients they need. Random drops from enemies and containers, or random items in random people's inventory is not a great way to go if you want to be able to craft certain things reliably.

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A real day/night cycle.


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The only thing that I dislike about D:OS is the itemization. I don't like that weapons and armor are scaled and also think that the game could use a lot more handplaced and unique loot. BG2 did itemization right, they should have a look at how it was done in that game.

The writing in D:OS was solid, but there wasn't very much of it. I would love more story.

The magic system could also be improved by adding more hard counters and also buffs and debuffs.

Originally Posted by Stabbey
A sci-fi RPG would be an interesting direction, certainly.

I would love to see Larian develop a Sci-Fi RPG. smile

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Another vote for a darker story and writing with more interesting moral and intellectual dilemnas. A sort of post apocalyptic fantasy world would be fascinating. Like, society has been magically decimated, and you're just a pair of survivors among brigandes, starving folk, monsters, and crazy people. And I'd like the story that isn't "save the world," but maybe just save yourselves or a few people and try and find a way to survive in this new world. Certainly non-epic stories are harder to pull off because there's so much less at stake, but when they work, they're quite satisfying.

Also, more chances to be evil without necessarily just killing everyone. Real, existential evil would be interesting. E.g., you grant immortality to someone who wants to die.

A "save the world: from yourself" kind of story would good too, like NWN2's "Mask of the Betrayer" where you become a soul-eater and have to sate your hunger for spirits otherwise you will start devouring everyone and die yourself.

Larian should also really analyze Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut to see good story, atmosphere, and writing. They're really did an excellent job of sci-fi fantasy, still a largely untapped genre for cRPGs.

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Different body builds to choose rather than just there being one body build.

Fun mini games that are often found in JRPG's, instead of betting on Chocobo's racing ( Final Fantasy 7 mini game) have their be a Sheep/Dragon? betting race and maybe something similar to Final Fantasy 8 card battle system (Triple Triad) which you could challenge people all sorts of places in the game with NPC's, it was a fun mini game system. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZJB-ylRWiI#t=688 Starts at 11:28. Maybe add places like Casinos as well and add bunch of mini games inside the casino. So yeah, more fun diversions in the game.

Possibly adding recruiting Summons as well? And even adding dialogue with them, would be fun to hear their thoughts on things including on some of the things you've done in the game.

Keep the co-op in your games as it is a big selling point.

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I'd like a really large endless maze that has a very nice suprise at the end. I think I've said this before but the original DD's starting maze pretty much fits this description of an epic maze (mind you this is the starting maze of that game) while D:OS never really had much of an epic maze.

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Originally Posted by meme
I'd like a really large endless maze that has a very nice suprise at the end. I think I've said this before but the original DD's starting maze pretty much fits this description of an epic maze (mind you this is the starting maze of that game) while D:OS never really had much of an epic maze.


i agree and also if you could add in about 1000 tiny buttons into the maze that you need to press in specific order to get the prize that would be good too

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Looked at the mock UI here for handling the Power Bar. The quicker I can make my turn when I decide what they will be, the better.

An option to toggle on off some sense of direction/what to do next. I write this one, I may use this one or not. But I know more casuals will want this from the feedback, it is somewhat expected and since we've been led for so long, for many it is hard to do back. And this going to consoles... just saying, the more they sell the more of these we get. If we can turn it off, no harm, no foul.

I agree with a darker story next time around. I'd study Shadowrun Returns, they have a really good writing style going on over there.

Speed of movement, speed of combat.

Since it is a 3d engine, allows us to lock/unlock camera angels.

Improved balance and perhaps a couple more difficult settings.

Might as well allow for 4 player coop from the stock product.

Inventory management was much better once I understood to use separate crates for things. However watching Youtube videos next to know one there figured it out. Inventory can still be better, but if there is minimal work there, allow us to name the crates to what we like.

Less gold, work on ways so money and buy/sell have some strategy. Too much gold.

Don't think I need the Pyramids or the other Dimension, however like in DK2, do like have a "home base", to me it worked better there.

More NPC's with their stories is big for the BG crowd.

Allow easy modding of the main game. Be smart, sprinkle some of that Bethesda magic on it, don't allow them to have all the modding glory. We need to mod the main, that allows quick mods right from the start to happen and build a community from there. Adding to the world is as good to me as a long-shot total conversion that takes years if ever to be released.


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I copied (parts of) my comment about imrovements from the blog (directly addressing Swen's post):

"I think you've already mentioned the core "flaws" of DOS in your blog yourself so there is little to add here for now. It's instead good to see that you've clearly identified what should be improved while at the same time you stick to your well working formula. DOS was a niche game after all and that's part of the reason why it was so great - for its core audience. If I had one free wish I would ask you to never sacrifice that core audience dedication for a bigger mass market appeal. We already have Bioware for that kind of RPGs. Stay like you are. Make the games you want to play yourselves. I think you've already proven that your taste fuc..... rocks and that you know exactly what people want and expect in this very niche of old-school RPGs. Please just don't fall for the trap of instant rewards everywhere that plagues huge parts of modern gaming.

My personal wish list for future RPGs of the kinds of DOS is pretty big, to be honest. I would for example like extended writing and more emotional and morally grey decisions with deep choice and consequence (without of course sacrificing the typcial Larian humour which would even work better as comedic relief). Macbeth is an awesome writer but he's just one man. I would like Larian to employ three or more of his kind for future RPGs, significantly improving the writing and narrative design workforce without compromising quality. And more and even deeper companions would be cool. Despite all the critique the fleshed out companions are still one of Bioware's RPGs' biggest appeal for a reason. It's something that is very unique to RPGs in that depth. And there is a lot of stories and characters to explore, not necessarily in the way Bioware does it with their latest strategy of total inclusiveness. More voice overs would be cool as well although that might be a bit in conflict with my wish for extended writing. I guess a good compromise has to be found here, maybe with a little bit more voice acting than present in DOS. Gameplay is imo rock solid although you already identified the weaknesses later in the character progression. I guess that's one of the most difficult problems since it's at least partly based on the big amount of freedom you grant the players. It depends a lot of how the game plays in later stages whether you uses all the possibliities to improve your gear and your character the game offers or not. It's hard to improve that formular but I hope you find ways to do so.

Oh and one last thing you should think about for future games of the kind of DOS. Don't make the entry point too tedious or too uimpressive. It's the first one or two hours which decide whether a lot of players want to continue to play your game or not. I think you've lost a lot of potential fans of the game - even people who never thought they would like a game like that - just because they didn't get "into it" in the first one or two hours of playing. So please, give some special care and thought how you start your new games, both from a narrative and a gameplay perspective. I don't think DOS was actually bad here but I think it could still be improved for future games. ;)"

Last edited by LordCrash; 19/12/14 04:30 PM.

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sci-fi rpg.. not all gritty and stuff but like space quest, or star trek. with the typical larian humour..
heaven.

please no post-apocalyptic stuff.



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A darker story seems to be a common suggestion.

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I already discussed the topic in the commentary of Swen's blog, so I hope it doesn't feel too lazy and impolite if I'm just going to copy-paste what I wrote there:

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I can't even overstate how much I liked Original Sin.
That said, there were few issues that undermined its state from "timeless classic" to "barely pretty damn good", in my opinion.

My main gripe was the loot/itemization. I know there are different opinions on the topic but for me fixed, specifically designed items are far more interesting (and rewarding to get) than randomized loot. Not just because it's easier to design unique items which can truly stand out, but also because it makes more manageable to balance them.
I really think that randomized itemization fits terribly a game where encounters are fixed in their design and enemies don't respawn (which is how I like RPGs, by the way). Baldur's Gate 2 should be a better model to copy than Diablo.
Then it comes overall balance. While I loved the combat system, the game was incline to become a bit too easy/exploitable in its second half (or at very least the last third).

Now, few other points that aren't exactly flaws but that just fit my personal taste more. What follows is just my opinion, so no offense if people at Larian don't share my suggestions.
First, I'm not too fond of monsters being tied to levels. Especially when enemies of the same type (i.e zombies) are avaible at different level ranges. I like the D&D phylosophy of monsters being defined mostly by their stats and being reliably constant across an entire game.

Second, while there's nothing particularly wrong with traditional exp, I love what Bloodlines did (and Pillars of Eternity is attempting) with goal-driven exp that reward the player just for accomplishing specific tasks, discouraging grinding or the kill of NPCs just for the sake of it.
Third, while the art style in D:OS was charming, I'm not too much into "deformed" characters. I'd prefer anatomically correct ones with great, fluid animations, no matter how detailed or stylized (in fact, I think I never got over my love for Another World and its super-stylized characters).


More about goal-driven exp:
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First, because I don't think it's a counter-intuitive system at all.
Second, because I don't even think "intuitiveness" is something that comes into play; a good exp reward system is (and should be) mostly something that goes on in background, not something you actively monitor and exploit.
Third, because a goal-driven system is *factually* more fair, objective and less exploitable, if the goals are granular enough.

Traditional exp-for-kill-and-for quests leads to abominations like "Find the diplomatic solution to solve the quest, then kill anyone anyway for extra points" (the last Deus EX: Human REvolution was particularly infamous in ths sense, for instance) .

A goal-driven system has a single reward for a certain accomplishment (i.e. reach and loot the final chest in a dungeon, get rid of a certain enemy somehow, gather a specific piece of intel, etc) and no matter how you reach your goal (stealth approach, diplomatic intercession, brute force) the reward is indicatively the same for everyone... Or eventually *reliably* not the same when it's a deliberate choice to reward a specific solution as the best one.


And even more about it and fixed loot.

Quote
Thanks for taking your time answering me, Swen.
Now, just a couple of points. Not to argue against you, but just to point my perspective, how I see it.

1) yes, I do think randomized and predefined loot can co-exist and it's surely something that can work better than having just the former (especially when the randomization doesn't change at every single reload encouraging compulsive behavior... ahem).
On the other hand, no matter how well thought and balanced, I don't think randomized loot actually tops the experience of having good predetermined one in any scenario, except maybe if you leave the randomization for the so called "trash loot" (crafting materials, vendor trash, etc). Then again, i also have the feeling that the less "trash loot" you have in these kind of games, the better.

It's not even just a matter of having better, more unique items, but also a matter of pacing.
I like finding special, useful items as a "defining moment" that happen at very specific circumstances. What I don't like about randomized itemization is that you can get a significant upgrade at any given moment *and* yet you can happen to not get one after a relevant accomplishment, which can lead to "meh" scenarios like looting very-similar-yet-marginally-different swords and comparing them constantly to decide which is better and to what degree.

Frankly, I don't think this is a system that will ever beat the pacing of a Baldur's Gate 2 where you get your fairly plane +1 weapon, then at some point a +2, then the outstanding +3 with a special ability tied in that will come with you across the entire second half of the game, more or less.
Of course, the "issue" with fixed itemization is that you can't just let drop anything, you need to think how you want your player to dress the entire party in the end game (no matter what party formation comes) and eventually even offer alternate options aimed to different builds.

2) About goal driven-exp, I think it should be important to stress that, as you are more or less implying yourself, "goal-driven" doesn't necessarily mean "no exp reward for combat". It just means that you have your exp reward for combat when you account that fight as another mini-goal among many. It would just be tied to encounters rather than single kills. Or maybe the goal could be about killing one specific enemy in an encounter setup and what you do with the rest doesn't even matter.

The difference is that in a goal-driven progression system you would get your reward out of the encounter or from avoiding it. In a traditional "exp-for-kills" system you would get the reward out of the diplomatic/stealth option and THEN you would be able to break/exploit the game logic fighting anyway to maximize the reward.
It's... not a big deal, far worse stuff happened in gaming for years... But it's also a bit clumsy, archaic and unnecessary when a more slim and elegant solution existed for years.

Oh, it should also be noted that the first game I mentioned as an example, Vampire Bloodlines, didn't even bother giving actual "exp points". It skipped that passage entirely, rewarding the player directly with "talent points" to spend in the character sheet (of course, it also had a progression system granular enough for this to make sense).


Then of course I would love the day/night cycle IF tied to appropriate NPC dynamic scheduling.



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Intelligence shouldn't drive down cooldown, way over powered.

Can't invest too deep in all schools. Perhaps a point in each but only a few can go deeper. What happens is by end game many chars all have the same stuff, especially if you mix mages for example. I love all the choices, but they seemed to equal.

CC rounds in general should be reduced.

Once you learn a skill book you shouldn't for get it if you put something else in its place while trying different things.

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A lot of my suggestions are only really about Original Sin and not so much for a new game.

Originally Posted by Horrorscope
Intelligence shouldn't drive down cooldown, way over powered.


I think that I agree with this. It makes things harder to balance too, as cooldowns go down to 1 for a lot of spells.

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Can't invest too deep in all schools. Perhaps a point in each but only a few can go deeper. What happens is by end game many chars all have the same stuff, especially if you mix mages for example. I love all the choices, but they seemed to equal.


I dunno, maybe I'm missing out on some things, or maybe I'm ignoring other abilities in favour of skill+ abilities, but I haven't seen this to be a huge problem. My L16 Wizard has maxed out Fire and Earth, and has 2 points into Water and Loremaster, plus some into Willpower, I think.

My Shadowblade has 4 Witch, 3 Air and 3 Scoundrel, and I can currently get one of those to 4, I just haven't decided which one yet. I think Jahan is 4/4/3 with Air, Water and Witchcraft, and he has invested into Willpower as well. Madora has maxed Two-Handed and Warrior and has a touch of Fire.

My Shadowblade and Jahan have points into Air and Witchcraft, but they tend to focus in different areas. Same as my Wizard and Jahan - they both have water, but Jahan is going for the healing and control and my Wizard is picking the damage-dealing spells. There's room for two characters to use the same element without duplication.


Quote
CC rounds in general should be reduced.

Once you learn a skill book you shouldn't for get it if you put something else in its place while trying different things.


I certainly wouldn't mind if you got a skillbook back if you forgot a spell, but I guess it's for balance reasons and they don't want you to switch much, so I will second this, but won't complain if it doesn't happen.

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Here's a suggestion:

In future games, Tutorial levels should either be kept short and simple, or else kept separate from the base game and having no gameplay impact on it.

Original Sin's tutorial dungeon in Cyseal was nicely designed, but it was also long and for all intents and purposes, unskippable, thanks to all the items and gold you get from it that are critical for early game success. It added an extra hour onto the time between starting the game and when the meat of the game begins.

I think a separate, optional tutorial which provides no items or XP for the main game, and so is skippable on future playthroughs would be a good idea. If you really want to integrate it into the main game, please keep it short.

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In response to Tuco's points about goal-driven EXP and static loot:

I think these are both things to look into. Once again, Shadowrun: Dragonfall did a pretty solid with both of these. You get skill points for completing certain tasks and missions, and it's hard to tell if you earned the most talent points you could. I do think bypassing experience and levels in favor of merely improving skills is a great way to design an RPG, but it's far too late to transition D:OS or even a successor to that model of progression, so goal-driven EXP is probably the best bet.

I'm also interested in more unique items with histories and lore. But a problem with static loot is that it hurts replayability if you know exactly what you're going to get. But perhaps you could be guaranteed a unique item from certain bosses, but one from a pool of 5 or 6 possible items. So it's sort of inbetween random and static loot. And there can be totally random loot too, but I completely agree with Tuco that the sheer volume of loot makes it less exciting. I actually want MORE random modifiers on items instead of 50 rings with +1 telekenisis, but maybe a quarter of the current loot overall. So a group of five enemies might drop one or two weapons/armor plus some ingredients, but not like 4 or 5 weapons which can happen now. This would also do much to fix the economy and inventory management at the same time.

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